Page 1 of 2
#2
The point of shapes like those is to know your way around the fretboard, however I think those are terrible shapes. It's more intuitive to learn any scale/mode in small clusters from octave to octave staring on the root note, rather than the seventh( like in some of those examples), and always being cognizant of the basic applicable chord tones relevant to the scale/mode.
#4
thanks for your answer. But, for example, I'm writing a song and I'm in a certain key, let's say C. Therefore I choose the C Major scale for example to write the melody on. Why would I need a different shape then the one starting on the C on the low E string (8th fret)?
#5
Because you can play the same scale in many positions. The scale is all over the fretboard. The same notes just repeat over and over again. You can play the same note in many positions and that means you can play the same scale in many positions.

Here are notes on the fretboard:



Different positions give you a different range. If you for example use the C note on the 3rd fret of the A string, playing higher notes requires more hand movement than playing the C note on the 8th fret of E string. It's good to be able to play all over the fretboard. Also, you can play the notes in different octaves. The same melody sounds a bit different in different octaves. Sometimes the song needs you to play lower and sometimes higher.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 6, 2014,
#6
Quote by Jayerrr
thanks for your answer. But, for example, I'm writing a song and I'm in a certain key, let's say C. Therefore I choose the C Major scale for example to write the melody on. Why would I need a different shape then the one starting on the C on the low E string (8th fret)?


Think of it more in terms of notes, not shapes. If you're writing in C major, you can use the notes C-D-E-F-G-A-B. You are not limited to a shape starting 8th fret E string just because it starts on C.

You've got 24ish frets across 6 strings and the notes of C major can be found along the whole length of every string.
#7
Yes but you are talking about positions not shapes I think if I'm understanding it correctly. In the link I posted there was the C Major scale in the E shape, D shape, C shape etc.
Why do I need that?
#8
Quote by Jayerrr
thanks for your answer. But, for example, I'm writing a song and I'm in a certain key, let's say C. Therefore I choose the C Major scale for example to write the melody on. Why would I need a different shape then the one starting on the C on the low E string (8th fret)?


Scale shapes are especially useful for people who improvise and want to be able to play all over the fretboard, rather than limit themselves to one area of the fretboard. For certain styles, virtuostic mostly, it helps to have many shapes under your fingers, otherwise you trip up.
#9
The C,A,G,E and D (CAGED) shapes refer to open postion chords shapes that can fit over scale shapes. Justinguitar is seriously complicating matters in that link.

The only thing the CAGED system is useful for is identifying a relationship between open chords and root notes i.e. you can use these chord shapes:

C - x32010

A - x02220

G - 320003

E - 022100

D - xx0232

To play, for example, a C major chord wherever there is a root C note on the neck i.e.

x(3)2010 (C shape)

x(3)5553 (A shape)

(8)75558 (G shape)

(8)1010988 (E shape)

xx(10)121312 (D shape)

...etc. past the 12t fret

Where the note with the () around it is the C root note.
#11
Quote by Jayerrr
Yes but you are talking about positions not shapes I think if I'm understanding it correctly. In the link I posted there was the C Major scale in the E shape, D shape, C shape etc.
Why do I need that?

The major scale and all the relative modes are one same giant pattern that spans the whole of the fretboard. It's tough for our feeble little minds to assimilate that whole entire pattern in one chunk. So, we break it down into pieces. Into sections. There are a number of ways to attack knowing the major scale pattern, and they are useful because some passages will be easier than others and it is a good way to learn some sounds you can do. We don't notice it all the time, but our brains are pretty crazy, and they take into account what is possible for us to play, when they decide what sounds we want. So, if you change your tuning you might come up with different stuff, or when you change instrument, or change how you view your fretboard.

All this is, is dividing the pattern into confined boxes. This lets you run up and down the strings easily. It's my basic main pattern, personally. He calls them A shape, or C shape, or what have you based on the shape of the tonic chord that can be built in that box section. I don't name it that way, because I think there is a simpler way in the grand scheme of things, but it is a good way to name them still.

This is useful, because you can run up and down your neck switching through different boxes, for whatever is most suitable to you. It depends what key you're in, and where you want to be on the fretboard.

There are 7 different diatonic chords you can build this way though. Every single note of the pattern, is part of a basic diatonic triad 3 times (diatonic means part of the scale/key and only part of the scale/key). So, it's not just CAGED for the tonic. You can do CAGED for all 7 of those chords. I prefer to think of it as 3 main chord shapes though. I don't consider G anything, really, and C and D I consider to be one shape. So, for me, every diatonic chord has 3 positions. And in whatever box you might be, one of those will be closest. Let's say a song asks for G, and i'm up at the 8th fret playing my C rooted on E for whatever reason (this would be justin's E shape box) then I know I can solo around there, and I know that if a G comes up, it's one box next door rooted on the A at the 10th fret. Which would be Justin's D shape box. I just name every box based on the degree of the lowest note of that box, except for what would be the viio box, I call that one the I box. But I always know where I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viio is in every box, or close to every box.

In soloing, I find that what is most important is this pattern, and not so much what chord is playing at the time. I mean, you might decide to want to hear different notes depending on what chord is playing, obviously, but the tonic chord shape is always important, no matter what chord is playing. It always has that sound, it's just the environment is kind of different. It's like, a tie always looks like that tie, it's just the shirt that changes. And the tonic tie, goes with everything. Not that you should always play it, but, it's a good strong chord shape. And if you know your scale this way, you can be playing that G I mentioned above, and know that you can run down that C arpeggio in the D shape up there to the right, or in the E shape down there to the left. So, what you want to master, is knowing your ties and where they are, so that when a new shirt comes down the assembly line, you can get the one you want most. You don't have to worry about any theoretical way they interact. If you know what ties you have, and what shirts you see, and what shirts are coming next, (doesn't make much sense for shirts, but you know what I mean) then you just need to look at that, and choose what you want. You control only the ties, though. Not the shirts, so you only need to worry about those, what those look like, and how to access them on demand. Which ones you choose, well that's the art of it. That's why it is not a science, because there is no "right" tie.

It is important to know the pattern as many ways as possible if you want to improvise. You don't need to know them all before you start improvising, but, the more you know, the more your improvisation can improve, to your own taste.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Aug 6, 2014,
#12
Quote by fingrpikingood
The major scale and all the relative modes are one same giant pattern that spans the whole of the fretboard. It's tough for our feeble little minds to assimilate that whole entire pattern in one chunk. So, we break it down into pieces. Into sections.


It's also beyond the range of what our feeble little hands can reach. (or even big hands)

#13
Quote by Jayerrr
hello,
just a quick question: why do we need different scale shapes like these?
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/SC-001-TheMajorScale.php
thanks

If you've just played something at the 10th fret and want to follow with the note "C" wouldn't you rather know where the nearest one was?
Actually called Mark!

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#14
Quote by Jayerrr
Yes but you are talking about positions not shapes I think if I'm understanding it correctly. In the link I posted there was the C Major scale in the E shape, D shape, C shape etc.
Why do I need that?

Because each of those shapes covers a different span of 4-5 frets on the fretboard.

Those shapes all join together, overlapping by one or two frets to give you the major scale over a 15 fret range (including the open strings as a fret). The first three frets (open, fret 1, fret 2) are the same as the last three frets (fret 12, fret 13, fret 14) and the entire pattern just repeats.

This allows you to play the major scale over the entire fretboard.


In the illustration below you can see the C major scale spanning the entire fretboard. The shapes are illustrated to show how they overlap. They are called Forms here but they are the same as the shapes:
Form 1= C Shape; Form 2= A Shape; Form 3= G Shape Form 4= E shape; Form 5= D Shape


If all you knew was one shape then your knowledge of the scale would be limited to a four or five fret range. When you move outside that four or five fret area you will be lost.

If you know all five shapes and how they fit together then you will know the major scale over the entire fretboard.
Si
#15
Quote by Jayerrr
Yes but you are talking about positions not shapes I think if I'm understanding it correctly. In the link I posted there was the C Major scale in the E shape, D shape, C shape etc.
Why do I need that?

Short answer. You don't...assuming you know the fretboard well enough to find any note without having to think about it.
#16
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Short answer. You don't...assuming you know the fretboard well enough to find any note without having to think about it.

Good advice. How did you do it? TS could learn from your experience.
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#17
Quote by 91RG350
Good advice. How did you do it? TS could learn from your experience.

1) I started looking at the whole fretboard. See the big picture.
2) I memorized the fretboard. There isn't any one way to do this. But I recommend using several different ways. This UG article has several good methods.
#18
Thanks for answering- I have asked this exact question about a hundred times...and you are the second person to actually answer. Thumbs up, my friend. Big time.
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#19
Thanks everyone for their answer, really thank you. I don't like to learn something without knowing what it's for, that's why I asked.
Thanks
#20
Quote by Jayerrr
Thanks everyone for their answer, really thank you. I don't like to learn something without knowing what it's for, that's why I asked.
Thanks


Knowing scale "shapes", irrespective of the names of the notes, can be useful for playing in keys in which you are not familiar when improvising ( since you can just move the shapes around to play in different keys on guitar), however it's a lazy way to learn and will hurt you in the long run.
#21
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Short answer. You don't...assuming you know the fretboard well enough to find any note without having to think about it.


Knowing the notes on the entire fretboard does NOT = you knowing the scales across the entire fretboard. For that you have to understand scale formulas, and when you apply those scale formulas to the notes on the neck and you get …………….. SCALE PATTERNS!!!!!!
When you apply those scale formulas in a particular area, comfortably reachable by the hand, you get…….. SCALE PATTERNS in POSITIONS.

wow! Very useful indeed!
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 7, 2014,
#22
I don't know all of my note names off by heart, and the ones I do know, I don't find myself using that information much. I think knowing them all would be an advantage for me a little, but more for going really big distances. I find it useful for switching to other shapes of the same chord, so I know my chord names relatively well, and that's why I only really know my E and A string really well, and my B and G medium well. But, if you those finding any note name is real easy. I just don't know them all instantly.

I would say scale patterns are far more important in my experience. You need to be able to go from sound you want, to hand motion instantly, so you have to get past what it's called eventually. Going from "sound I want is x, and that is a Gb, and the nearest Gb is..." that's too much for playing on the fly. You need to think the sound, and play the sound direct. shapes are good at helping you do that.

Gb isn't a useful sound. Music is relative. when you want a sound it is a sound relative to the tonic that you want, or you might think of it relative to a chord, but it's always relative to the tonic. Gb on its own has the same sound as G on its own, from a musical perspective. But 'I' does not sound at all like 'viio'. So, you can't be playing, and think directly "you know what sound goo here? an F#" There is an extra step you have to do, you have to first think what note you want relative to the or chord or however you choose to look at it, and then recognize that is an F#. I do this visually, so I might see a note I want, and know I want it, and that's the sound I want, but it never needs to cross my mind that what I want is a B. However, if I'm playing in position I, and know that I want to play the tonic chord, but I want to play it way up the neck, in a D shape let's say, then it helps to recognize that the tonic in this case is F# or whatever and where F# is way up the neck. It can work for single notes as well.

I'm not sure how I'd cope without knowing any scales and just knowing note names. I could do it, I used to do it, but there is no way I could play how I play now.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Aug 7, 2014,
#23
Quote by GuitarMunky
Knowing the notes on the entire fretboard does NOT = you knowing the scales across the entire fretboard. For that you have to understand scale formulas, and when you apply those scale formulas to the notes on the neck and you get …………….. SCALE PATTERNS!!!!!!
When you apply those scale formulas in a particular area, comfortably reachable by the hand, you get…….. SCALE PATTERNS in POSITIONS.

wow! Very useful indeed!

It is true that you need to get the scales under your fingers, not just be able to see them on the fretboard. Because when you play, you don't want to need to think about the notes. But of course knowing the note names helps.

Though if you know where every note is on the fretboard and can play any note instantly, you don't need any box shapes. But that requires a lot more than just knowing the note names.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 7, 2014,
#24
Quote by MaggaraMarine



Though if you know where every note is on the fretboard and can play any note instantly, you don't need any box shapes. But that requires a lot more than just knowing the note names.


I disagree, but maybe you could explain in detail how you would go about playing the C#minor blues scale between the 9th and 12th frets without playing through what people refer to as a "box shape".
#25
Quote by Jayerrr
thanks for your answer. But, for example, I'm writing a song and I'm in a certain key, let's say C. Therefore I choose the C Major scale for example to write the melody on. Why would I need a different shape then the one starting on the C on the low E string (8th fret)?


Because you never know where your hand is going to be when you want to start playing.

By knowing the whole fretboard, the scale is always right under your fingers. This isn't that big a deal when you're doing very simple soloing, but the moment you start adding an awareness of chord tones, or switching scales, or applying chord-scale theory, you often find that the time it takes to re-orient your fretting hand limits your options.

That being said, once you start understanding a scale as a set of musical relationships, this becomes a lot easier to wrap your head around. On my good days, I'm soloing without any conscious awareness of the scale shape, just letting the sounds I want lead me.
#26
Quote by GuitarMunky
I disagree, but maybe you could explain in detail how you would go about playing the C#minor blues scale between the 9th and 12th frets without playing through what people refer to as a "box shape".

Yes, you would be playing in the same position or box shape or whatever you want to call it. But you don't need to treat it as one. Of course box shapes exist. But many guitarists get stuck with them. There are different ways of thinking.

If you already knew all the notes by heart on the fretboard, there would be no use for learning any box shapes because you would already (kind of) know them. You just wouldn't treat them as box shapes.

I have heard John Petrucci say that after he had learned the scale well enough, it became one big shape that was all over the fretboard rather than many box shapes.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#27
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Yes, you would be playing in the same position or box shape or whatever you want to call it. But you don't need to treat it as one. Of course box shapes exist. But many guitarists get stuck with them. There are different ways of thinking.

so you use them, but you avoid calling them "box shapes" cause you heard someone say that "box shapes are bad mkaay" ??

I don't understand this "getting stuck" business. I mean if you know the notes in a scale, why couldn't play in between those notes? Are the shapes like "no dude, can't play that note it's outside of me" ?

Quote by MaggaraMarine

If you already knew all the notes by heart on the fretboard, there would be no use for learning any box shapes because you would already (kind of) know them.


I don't see how. Notes are just notes. Scales are specific groupings of notes, based on a formula.


Quote by MaggaraMarine

You just wouldn't treat them as box shapes.


What does that mean? how is one supposed to treat box shapes?


Quote by MaggaraMarine

I have heard John Petrucci say that after he had learned the scale well enough, it became one big shape that was all over the fretboard rather than many box shapes.


That sounds cool, especially coming from a famous musician, but the truth is that "one big shape" is a combination of all of the positions. Your hand can only stretch so far. you can't play that one big shape without moving your hand around….. which is actually moving between various positions/patterns.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 8, 2014,
#28
^ I don't avoid calling them "box shapes". I just find it hard to connect the different boxes - I mean, you kind of look at them as separate boxes. That's what I mean by getting stuck. Playing outside of one box gets hard. And that's what seeing a scale as one big shape means - you see how everything is connected. You don't treat the box shapes any more as separate boxes.

And I kind of know what you mean. I think we are kind of talking about the same thing but use different terms.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#29
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ I don't avoid calling them "box shapes". I just find it hard to connect the different boxes - I mean, you kind of look at them as separate boxes. That's what I mean by getting stuck. Playing outside of one box gets hard. And that's what seeing a scale as one big shape means - you see how everything is connected. You don't treat the box shapes any more as separate boxes.

And I kind of know what you mean. I think we are kind of talking about the same thing but use different terms.


How can it be hard to connect the boxes? I mean that's what the "one big shape" IS.

and your hand doesn't span the entire fretboard, so you will always be playing in one "box" or another. That's what makes them so handy.

Also playing outside of something is easy, when you know the boundaries. I mean pick 2 notes in a scale. Now connect them chromatically, by playing the notes in between. pretty easy.
Altering notes is easy as well. You know where the 5th is? well it's not the hard to find the b5 or #5 is it?

If you really think "shapes are bad", Try applying your idea to chords. Is a D chord really 1 big shape all over the neck, or do you actually have to chose a particular place/position to play it? When you do, are you stuck in that chord, or are you free to move around to another version of it, or another chord all together?


Or does this "shapes are bad" thing only apply to scales?


IMO there is a real problem with the shapes stigma. It comes from people who learned them improperly in the 1st place. They go online and authoritatively tell people not to learn them (cause they're experts now). It then gets passed around like the flu.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 8, 2014,
#30
^ No, I don't think shapes are bad. People just need to learn them the right way so that they don't get stuck with them. And by being stuck I mean those people who ask which "mode" to play over which chord progression. Some people just learn a bunch of scale shapes but they can't really use the notes in them. They don't learn them in context.

"One big shape" may be a bit wrong word choice. What I mean is that you know the scale all over the fretboard without needing to think which box you are playing in.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#31
Quote by GuitarMunky
Knowing the notes on the entire fretboard does NOT = you knowing the scales across the entire fretboard.

I think this is obvious. You still have to do the work. But memorizing the fretboard means you don't need to bother with scale patterns in positions. You just memorize the intervals of a scale, and that's that, imho.

For that you have to understand scale formulas, and when you apply those scale formulas to the notes on the neck and you get …………….. SCALE PATTERNS!!!!!!
When you apply those scale formulas in a particular area, comfortably reachable by the hand, you get…….. SCALE PATTERNS in POSITIONS.

Or, you know, don't bother with this. Yes, the human hand is only so big. And?

That doesn't mean we have to have think in terms of positions. If you disagree (which I'm quite sure you do, based on previous conversations), great...we can agree to disagree. It's not beneficial to argue this further.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 8, 2014,
#32
Quote by MaggaraMarine
What I mean is that you know the scale all over the fretboard without needing to think which box you are playing in.


I just don't get why you would have a problem with knowing which pattern the scale makes in the position you are in.

Quote by MaggaraMarine
Some people just learn a bunch of scale shapes but they can't really use the notes in them. They don't learn them in context.


People do that with practically every aspect of playing guitar, not just scales.

It's not the fault of the information, but rather the approach of the person.

and honestly I blame it all on the tidbit approach. People take in tidbits and 1 liners, and then fill in the gaps with their own assumptions.


Quote by crazysam23_Atax
You just memorize the intervals of a scale, and that's that, imho.


^ = memorizing scale patterns in positions when you apply it to a guitar.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 8, 2014,
#33
Quote by GuitarMunky
^ = memorizing scale patterns in positions when you apply it to a guitar.

Except, you know, it doesn't. You can memorize scale intervals in such a way, but I don't see the need to bother. If I know a scale's intervals are: 1, b3, 5, b6, 7, & b7; then I can just pick a tonic and find the notes that satisfy the other intervals. I don't need to bother with learning the positions of this scale.


If you disagree with my method, whatever. You play how you want to play, and I'll play how I want to play. We both can be happy with our own ways.
#34
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Except, you know, it doesn't.


It does, that's why I said it.


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

You can memorize scale intervals in such a way, but I don't see the need to bother.


You mean a way in which you know where they are on your instrument?
yes you can.


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

If I know a scale's intervals are: 1, b3, 5, b6, 7, & b7; then I can just pick a tonic and find the notes that satisfy the other intervals. .


In a position on your guitar. and what scale is that?


Quote by crazysam23_Atax

I don't need to bother with learning the positions of this scale. .


you are, but for some reason, you're just not admitting it to yourself.

Quote by crazysam23_Atax

If you disagree with my method, whatever. You play how you want to play, and I'll play how I want to play. We both can be happy with our own ways.


that's not a method. it's just avoiding the truth.
#35
This is why I said arguing this is useless. Fact is, we will never convince each other.


Now, stop trying to "win the argument" and accept that people do things in a way other than the way you do things. And grow the hell up while you're at it.
#36
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
This is why I said arguing this is useless. Fact is, we will never convince each other.


Now, stop trying to "win the argument" and accept that people do things in a way other than the way you do things. And grow the hell up while you're at it.



I'm not trying to win anything, and I don't think you're really doing anything different.


Tell me this.

If I play the A Major scale between the 4th and 7th frets on the guitar, knowing the pattern, knowing the notes and intervals...... and you play the A Major scale in the same place, what would be the difference. What advantage would you have by ignoring the shape the scale makes in that position?
#37
The difference is, I don't bother with fret X and fret Y. I bother with intervals.

If you want to discuss this further, then you can PM me.
#38
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
The difference is, I don't bother with fret X and fret Y. I bother with intervals.

If you want to discuss this further, then you can PM me.


I'm not trying to be a jerk, but what do you do when fret X and fret Y are part of the scale.
#39
Quote by GuitarMunky
I'm not trying to be a jerk, but what do you do when fret X and fret Y are part of the scale.

Nothing. It doesn't matter. If it happens, great. If not, great.
#40
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
The difference is, I don't bother with fret X and fret Y. I bother with intervals.

If you want to discuss this further, then you can PM me.

You don't bother with Fret X and Fret Y? So how do you find the interval on the guitar without knowing where to find it in relation to Fret X and Fret Y?

Whatever you do if you play a scale you will be playing notes, intervals, and shapes.

It seems everyone here recognizes that the notes of a given scale form shapes or patterns on the fretboard.

Some people, it would seem, are arguing that the recognition of these patterns, and their use as a learning aid is somehow harmful to a guitarists learning.

-That just seems completely absurd.
Si
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